Halep, Kontaveit ease into final in Romania

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CLUJ-NAPOCA, Romania — Simona Halep reached a WTA final for the 12th straight season after routing Ukrainian teenager Marta Kostyuk 6-0, 6-1 and setting up a title match against Anett Kontaveit of Estonia at the Transylvania Open.

Kontaveit, who won the Kremlin Cup in Moscow last week, extended her winning streak to nine matches by beating Rebecca Peterson of Sweden 6-3, 6-2 .

Halep had to hold off a break point in the opening game but was in full control afterward, only conceding the first game of the second set when the 55th-ranked Kostyuk managed to hold serve.

The top-seeded Romanian is 3-0 against second-seeded Kontaveit and didn’t drop a set in those matches, including a 6-1, 6-1 win in the quarterfinals of last year’s Australian Open.

Halep, who is seeking her 23rd WTA title, has won a tournament in Romania twice before – in Bucharest on clay in 2014 and ’16.

Kontaveit has won three tournaments this season, and four overall.

Alcaraz loses to Goffin in 1st match as No. 1

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ASTANA, Kazakhstan — Carlos Alcaraz’s first match as the No. 1-ranked player ended with a straight-set loss to David Goffin at the Astana Open.

The 19-year-old Spaniard lost 7-5, 6-3 in his first tour match since winning the U.S. Open and capturing the No. 1 ranking.

“David was playing really, really well. To come back to competition is never easy,” Alcaraz said. “It’s really tough for me, for my confidence.”

Alcaraz came from 5-2 down to level the first set at 5-5, only to be broken again by his Belgian opponent.

“When you play against the World No. 1 on a big stage, big crowd, the fire inside gives you so much power to play your best tennis because you don’t have any choice,” Goffin said. “You have to fight and give your best and that was the case today.”

Second-seeded Daniil Medvedev and No. 3-seeded Stefanos Tsitsipas both avoided similar upsets. Medvedev beat Albert Ramos-Vinolas of Spain 6-3, 6-1 and Tsitsipas ousted Kazakhstan’s Mikhail Kukushkin 6-3. 6-4.

Kasatkina knocks out Raducanu at Agel Open

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OSTRAVA, Czech Republic — Fifth-seeded Daria Kasatkina defeated 2021 U.S. Open champion Emma Raducanu 7-5, 6-4 to advance to the second round of the Agel Open.

Kasatkina was playing her first match since losing in the first round of the U.S. Open and will next face Ekaterina Alexandrova.

Sixth-seeded Belinda Bencic of Switzerland rallied to eliminate former top-five player Eugenie Bouchard of Canada 6-7 (7), 6-1, while Aliaksandra Sasnovich upset eighth-seeded Jelena Ostapenko 6-2, 6-2.

American qualifiers Alycia Parks and Catherine McNally both advanced. Parks upset Czech Karolina Pliskova 6-0, 7-6 (3) and McNally eased past Anna Blinkova 6-1, 6-2 at the indoor hardcourt event in the Czech eastern city of Ostrava.